Lexus has unveiled the 2023 RZ 450e, its first global BEV, and one of several vehicles to be offered under the OEM’s Lexus Electrified plan. It is expected to begin sales towards the end of 2022.
Through the plan, it will broaden its portfolio of electrified vehicles, offering customers with more HEV, BEV, and PHEV powertrain options. Lexus will also look to offer a full line-up of BEVs across all vehicle categories by 2030. Then, by 2035, it will work to reach 100% BEV sales globally, leveraging drive-and-fix development at Toyota’s new Technical Center Shimoyama in Aichi Prefecture, Japan to do so.
Based on e-TNGA, Toyota’s dedicated EV platform, the RZ will offer a wide variety of new systems and features, some of which have been designed around its electric powertrain. Likewise, in the future – further functionalities will be offered for RZ owners, including the Lexus-first Steer by Wire system. The system enables the electronic exchange of steering and road surface information between the advanced steering control and tires through electrical signals. Its 150-degree steering angle works to streamline the driving experience across several scenarios – including U-turns, intersections, parking, and winding roads.
Inside the vehicle is another key feature that works to minimize sound from the outside and provide a quiet cabin environment. Sounds inside the vehicle match sound frequencies to its speed and sound levels during dynamic actions such as acceleration. The RZ’s underfloor battery supports the feature, functioning as a sound barrier, and the entire perimeter of the hood opening is sealed to eliminate noise caused by turbulent airflow. Unwanted noise is suppressed further through the use of front/rear seat acoustic glass, and a new weatherstripping cross section that creates a quiet space at all times.
While Lexus has not yet provided a full set of specifications for the RZ, such as its performance and battery statistics, it has detailed its internal set-up. In developing the EV, Lexus built on its experiences from HEV development. In doing so, the RZ integrates BEV-exclusive high-capacity batteries and silicon carbide power semiconductor elements in the inverter. At the same time, it also incorporates Lexus’ low-loss technologies – featured in its HEVs – to extend its range up to an estimated 225 miles on 18-inch tires.
The RZ will also provide a similar variety of features through its infotainment system. The front cockpit, for example, contains steering wheel switches that are synced with the available HUD, allowing drivers to control functions such as navigation, audio, and drive mode select with ease and without distraction. A 14-inch touchscreen spearheads the EV’s multimedia offering, which recently launched on the NX and LX models, and is also accessible through voice commands.
The RZ uses the latest Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 set of driving aids, including standard Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert and Emergency Driving Stop System.